It was the DM piece that did it, pushed me right over the edge. It probably didn't help that just days before I was privy to one more presentation, pulled from a US-based PowerPoint repository that had the requisite slide highlighting Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA, SB-1386, the US Patriot Act and five other things having nothing to do with Australia as reasons to invest in fill in the blank technology.
I think we're getting sucker-punched here, ladies and gentlemen - or more than likely your CEOs and CFOs are. And when the BS hits the fan, and the bills come due, well, we've been there, done that on January 2, 2000.
Pick a vendor, name a vendor and you'll find that just like Y2K they've hitched their wagon to the Sarbox FUD star. And like Y2K, it's mahogany row they're scaring the bejesus out of, and then saying: "Sign here, please." The scaremongers are out in force with this type of stuff: "In today's regulatory environment, failure to have proper controls in place is tantamount to failure, which can and does result in the end of careers and fines in the millions of dollars." And sign here, please.
Nary a day goes by where I don't receive an e-mail with some type of compliance hook. Storage? Back-up those e-mails or the CEO/CFO might go to jail. Document management? Track your documents or the CEO/CFO might go to jail. ERP? Get your systems up to date or they'll all fall over on January 1, 2000 - oops, wrong catastrophe, I meant the CEO/CFO might go to jail.
And what about the consultants. They are back in droves. To paraphrase Al Pacino in Godfather III: Just when you think you've got them out, you have to pull them back in. Aghhhhhhhhhh!
All of this is because of crooks - I'll say it again crooks - who cooked the books at the likes of Enron, WorldCom and Arthur Andersen. I'm not for one minute positing that Sarbox isn't real, that it's something to ignore. What I am saying is that it's time people start dealing with it as any other business requirement and not as the scariest thing since Donald Trump's hair.
Oh, and the DM piece that prompted this screed? Well, it's probably best for my legal health not to mention it, but the same day another envelope arrived with a cross-stitch software package for me to review ("the perfect gift for the imaginative CIO looking for a creative outlet"). So, in the spirit of everything compliance, I am currently doing cross-stitch samplers for all my favourite PR firms that say: God Bless Sarbox.
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